Tea Party: Getting Below the Surface

Courtesy of Ned Ryun and The American Spectator. Juicy parts:

The gains of November extend beyond the achievements at the federal level and are staggering in their implications. Consider for a moment the gubernatorial races in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida — all won by Republican governors in a redistricting year leading up to the 2012 presidential elections. But go past the gubernatorial races: in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Republicans won the secretary of state races, despite George Soros’s S.O.S. project, and in Florida, Republicans retained that position. Again, having Republican secretaries of states in charge of the elections in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania will have considerable implications for 2012. With the governorships, secretaries of state, and state legislatures firmly in Republican hands in the three most important battleground states, Obama’s path back to the White House in 2012 did not get any easier.

If you go deeper into the state-level elections, you see Republicans ran roughshod over the Democrats. On November 1, according to Ballotpedia.org, Democrats had a 783-member advantage over Republicans. On November 3, Republicans held a 523-member advantage, a swing of more than 1,300 seats. Across the country, conservatives and Republicans saw historic results: Republicans will hold the Minnesota state for the first time in history, the Alabama legislature for the first time since Reconstruction, and the North Carolina legislature for the first time since 1870. In Maine, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin, states that Obama won definitively in 2008, Republicans won control of both the state senate and house chambers. And those changes were not by one or two seats: in the Wisconsin state assembly, Democrats had a 52-46 advantage before Election Night. After the dust settled, Republicans now hold a 60-38 advantage. Even in states where Republicans did not gain the majority, they made significant gains: before the elections, Republicans in the Arkansas state house held only 25 seats of 100. Now they hold 45, with serious talk of some Democrats switching parties.


These election results will have a long-term impact beyond redistricting and presidential races. Consider that roughly 70 percent of the 111th Congress began their careers at the state and local level. Some of our future congressional leaders will come from the state legislative victories of November 2.


But this is where a happy by-product of the so-called “Tea Party” movement comes in: a growing network of grassroots conservative organizations not aligned with the Republican Party that are recruiting, training, and running candidates on the local and state levels, and preparing for the 2012 election cycle. These organizations are spreading the word about what is increasingly being called “constitutional conservatism,” and news of what these organizations are undertaking and how they undertake their activities is what this column will be about moving forward.

Nice one to bookmark, to be sure.

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